Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Living Alone in Koramangala - Part 4

This evening, as I returned home from a short walk, I was horrified to see the so-called watchman for the construction site lying drunk on the other side of the road! He had a few "friends" (strange men never seen before on this street) to aid him too...And worse had happened: more of the wooden poles used for construction had been unloaded this afternoon and piled high outside the compound wall of the house I am renting, to a height of about 4 feet? Anyone could now climb up over these poles and be within an inch of my doors and windows...I had to act and act fast. Went to speak to one of the neighbours...someone I had only seen in passing till this evening. He could see I was shaking and agreed to my suggestion that the best thing was for me to call the Police...And I did just that!

After about an hour, the Police came, 2 men on a bike. I explained everything to them, starting with the incident on Friday, when one of the labourers was staring into my house window...My upstairs neighbour as well as two guys from next door came to validate my story. I showed the cops where the watchman was sleeping, drunk and dead to the world. The minute they saw him, they realised I was telling the truth...In front of them, I called Mr. P's landline. He did not come, sent his wife out instead. She started talking to them in Kannada (which I can now begin to follow) and said I was from the UK, that I had complained about the guys living next door upstairs??? This was news even to me! I don't even know the guys who live upstairs next door. I have only spoken to the two living downstairs, that too in the last 4-5 days due to this security scare...I shouted at her cos by that time, I had gotten extremely angry. I told her to just Shut Up and Not to Lie. She also said that the man whom I had seen looking into my living room through the window was a passer-by, not one of their labourers? I told the Police that I can identify him in any line-up and can show them the guy tmrw when the men turn up for work. Even this did not shut Mrs. S up. She kept repeating that I was from the UK. I kept telling her to Stop lying and that This has nothing to do with the UK.

Now, the reason why she picked on the fact I had lived in the UK for 8.5 years was that while speaking to one of the other neighbours, I mentioned that such migrant labourers/floating population need to be registered with the local Police...Did Mrs. S think this was something to be followed only in the UK? Isn't she aware that most cities in India now advice citizens to run a Police check before employing maid servants and drivers? Mr. P and Mrs. S have effectively placed the lives of all residents on this street at risk by not verifying the background of casual labourers employed by them...

Coming back to what transpired late this evening, I said the wooden poles stacked outside my compound wall had to be removed immediately, as anyone could jump over them and climb into my property. She said it cannot be done...So, I got FURIOUS, and started lifting the heavy poles myself, threw 3 of them in the middle of the road. I told the tall cop to call his traffic police colleagues too. He was too stunned to react. The shorter cop asked me to relax, and tried to reassure me that nothing will happen to me. I said "How do you know? In the first 10 days of August, there have been 10 murders, 5 of them were single women"? At that instant, he understood what I was going through...he immediately ordered the watchman's wife to lift everything and put them on the other side of the road...Phew. Meanwhile, from what I could make out of the slum woman's chat with the cops in rapid Kannada: she admitted that earlier, the whole lot of them would sit outside the main gate of the house I am renting. She said they don't do it any more (which is true and I said as much). She also said (are you reading this, Mrs. S, "educated" LIAR-Wife of former Infosys employee?) that one of the "maystries" (Kannada for "Mason") was the guy who had been staring into the window and keeping a watch on me and activities in this house. She kept saying her husband (the drunk watchman) had never peeped into this ground floor house through the windows...

The cops stayed for 10 more minutes when the woman and her daughter slowly picked up the poles and moved them. It was going to take a lot longer, so cops went. We 4 neighbours stayed outside for some more time, and then Mr. P finally came out with his LIAR wife. I thought they would pick a fight? They just walked to where the watchman's wife was and were watching her...Earlier, the cops had said that even if they poked and tried to wake up the watchman, he won't know anything as he had passed out due to alcohol. The cops also warned the watchman's wife that from tmrw, no construction preparation (like welding metal, sawing wood etc) should take place outside my house. This was to be their "last warning". They did not take any bribe and I did not have to give anything in writing...I am proud of ME tonight...And a Big Thank You to Koramangala Police.

Hopefully the situation will not deteriorate...Watch this space!

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